Damn Vehicle Rentals!
this is the first fic i've posted in ~7 years
please be gentle
Theo Lazerwave is in trouble.
He gets the mission from Bubbles at the same time the rental on his Kimchi Cloud hoverboard is about to expire. That shouldn’t be too much of a problem, he thinks. Find Bubbles’ pet squirrel, hand it off to her, re-up his rental with that vendor in the Sunken Mall, and go on his merry way.
But then he finds Bullet injured, which makes Bubbles freak out when he gets back to her, which makes her panic-call Numbuh 3 and she freaks out, and now Numbuh 3 is telling him to bring Bullet to the Jungle Outpost right now, and hurry! and Theo is really regretting not registering at any of the SCAMPERs or with those monkey agents that would’ve made this quick.
Once he gets Bullet safe and sound in his NanoCom, he takes off. He speeds through the Streetgrinders in City Station with no problem, but he almost sets off one of the Dynamite Mice in City Point, and his run-in with the Destroyusalls in Endsville is way closer than he wanted it to be; luckily the rest of the ride through the suburbs goes smoothly. The next blip of trouble he has is in Prickly Pines, with the fusion blowfish patrolling its entrance. But Theo mapped out its route ages ago, and he sidesteps it like it’s nothing. He sails down the path toward his destination –
– but then Leakey Lake comes into view, and it all goes to shit.
Theo slows down considerably when he gets to the forcefield surrounding the infected lake; he can see its now-green waters bubbling from here. Fusions were known to be aggressive around infected zones, and he’s heard his share of horror stories about the ones in the wilds, so he absolutely does not want to push his luck any more than he already has.
Thankfully, he hasn’t run into more fusions yet, so that’s a good sign. And speaking of signs, there’s a few up ahead pointing the way to Mt. Blackhead – the Jungle Outpost isn’t too far away, then. He just might be able to pull this off before –
“Warning! Your vehicle rental will expire in fifteen minutes.”
“Oh, no.” Theo’s face goes pale. He fishes his NanoCom out of his pocket and desperately tries to mute it. “Shhh, no no no – shut up, shut up, shut up – !”
But it’s too late. He’s been heard.
A swarm of fish-shaped fusions rush at him out of nowhere, the gears on their bodies whirring menacingly. They roar their alien roar, and Theo books it. He speeds off in a random direction as the fusion fish give chase, and try as he might, he can’t lose them. He zigzags through the trees, weaves in and out between hills, and somehow the fusions are still right behind him. There’s a moment where Theo goes through a denser patch of trees and he thinks he’s finally lost them – nope! One of the things tries to divebomb him, and he barely avoids its teeth before hairpin-turning and speeding away.
“Oh, okay, really!” He yells out in frustration. “How are they keeping up with me. What even are these things!?”
“Name: Wild Cogfish,” his NanoCom pipes up. “Type: Blastons. The Cogfish were made as beautiful works of art before – “
“You’re not helping!” Theo shouts at it. He spares a glance at the fusions still gunning for him before he rockets back towards the path.
Okay, new plan, he thinks. Forget about trying to lose them – just outrun them! These things won’t be able to follow me all the way to the Outpost! Just get to the Outpost, just get to the Outpost, just get to the –
“Your vehicle rental has expired. Recalling vehicle.”
“Wait, no – !”
There’s suddenly nothing but air under his feet. Theo’s sent sprawling, ass over face, and lands hard at the bottom of a hill. He lets out a groan of pain and gingerly picks himself up, just in time for the Wild Cogfish to catch up with him, baring their teeth in anticipation.